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United Nations: UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura late Tuesday discussed Syria crisis with senior Iranian officials in a bid to seek a political solution to the long-standing conflict, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said here.

While in Tehran, the Iranian capital, de Mistura met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian, Haq said, Xinhua news agency reported.

“During his meetings, de Mistura stressed the urgency of a Syrian-led political solution to the conflict and exchanged views on how to proceed with a political process, with the support of the Security Council,” Haq said.

“He also underscored the absence of a military solution to this conflict and recalled the imperative for all parties to uphold the principle of the protection of civilians.”

The special envoy is working to finalise his proposals to the secretary-general on a way forward to support Syrian parties in their search of a political solution to the conflict, in preparation for a briefing to the Security Council next week in New York, according to Haq.

The UN has long seen Iran as one of the influential countries in the Middle East region which can contribute to international efforts for an early end to the Syria crisis, which broke out in March 2011.


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)